Thursday, 24 October 2013

Dog Shit

Dogs... full of shit.
Anger at "dog mess alley" in Newquay: A busy alleyway in Newquay has been dubbed "dog mess alley" by one disgruntled user, who says he is sick of running the gauntlet on his way to the pub. Max Pocklington, 44, is calling on Cornwall Council to install a dog bin on the footpath that links Polwhele Road, where he lives, and Wych Hazel Way.

Dog excrement can cause toxocariasis, a serious infection which can cause abdominal pain, severe eye infections and even blindness. Youngsters are most vulnerable to the condition.
The father of three said the problem had existed for years – but several near misses on the way back from watching the England game in The Tavern last Tuesday finally spurred him into action. The poo-caked alleyway is commonly used by residents of the Treloggan area to access the Gannel or Trenance Boating Lake in one direction, or Morrison's supermarket in the other. Mr Pocklington said he cleans up after his pet sprollie, Willow, and leaves the bags outside the pub to be collected on his way home – but other dog-owners are not so considerate.

He said: "There's no dog bin or even a litter bin for people to put the dog mess in, which is ridiculous considering the amount of people who walk down that alley. People end up just leaving it on the ground or bagging it up and leaving it in the hedges. It's like dog mess alley. "I enjoy walking my dog to the pub but it's like running the gauntlet now, especially as the evenings are darker. I clear mine up but I have to leave the bags outside the pub and pick them up on my way back home."

Mr Pocklington, who runs a window-cleaning business, said it could also be a hazard for young children, including his own, who use the alleyway. Dog excrement can cause toxocariasis, a serious infection which can cause abdominal pain, severe eye infections and even blindness. Youngsters are most vulnerable to the condition.

The Cornish Guardian contacted Treloggan's Cornwall councillor Dave Sleeman on Mr Pocklington's behalf, who said he should be able to pay for a dog bin out of his £3,000 'community chest' allowance. Mr Sleeman said: "It desperately needs a bin up there and I can fund one out of my community chest. I want to make sure that money benefits local people."

He has also teamed up with Newquay town councillors Kevin Towill, Darren Daniel and John Rainbow to form a new Treloggan Residents' Association, due to meet tonight. Projects in the team's sights include fixing the fountain in the boating lake, clearing up Treloggan Green and pond, and creating a new children's play park. "Things are really starting to move forward now," Mr Sleeman said.

Waterfed pole hoses & dog excrement are a constant nuisance for window cleaners. Dog shit isn't funny.
Waterfed pole hoses & dog excrement: A few window cleaners in the UK have even taken to dropping clients when the owners fail to clean up after their dog in the yard or on the lawn. There is even a law to prosecute dog owners when they fail to clean up after them & even on private land where window cleaning & access is needed to carry out window cleaning work. Dog fouling is not only unpleasant it is dangerous. The biggest threat to public health from dog excrement is toxocariasis. Toxocariasis has been named one of the neglected diseases of U.S. poverty, because of its prevalence in Appalachia, the southern U.S., inner city settings, and minority populations. Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine available or under development.
What is Toxocariasis? Toxocariasis is an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. The eggs of the parasite can be found in soil or sand contaminated with faeces and if swallowed, result in infection that lasts between six and 24 months. Symptoms include eye disorders, vague ache, dizziness, nausea, asthma and, in extremely rare cases, seizures/fits. Often the eggs are ingested when passed to the mouth by the hands, but this can also occur through contact with dogs or other inanimate objects including the wheels of toys and the soles of shoes. Infected soil samples are often found in play areas and as a result, Toxocariasis most commonly affects children between 18 months and five years.

In Haverhill, Boston errant dog owners at the Katherine Heights condominium complex have been leaving droppings on sidewalks and lawns, so the community’s board of trustees plan to collect DNA to catch the offenders. “We’ve had too many complaints from our residents and we really had to do something,” said board member Diane Murad, who has lived in the 50-unit complex for more than 25 years. “At one point, the mail man even threatened to stop delivering mail. We know who’s doing it, but we haven’t been able to prove it.”

The board approved the new canine policy last year and recently contracted with Nashua-based Dog DNA Today LLC to collect and store samples from about 25 dogs that reside in the development. Pet owners will have to pay $30 to process a DNA sample from their dogs. There will be a $500 penalty for not registering a dog’s DNA. “We tried every angle to solve the problem,” Logan said. “I actually offered rewards to people to catch the offenders on film. The problem is that we had laws against it, but there was no way to enforce them. DNA testing changed that.’’

Radical solutions to the problem of dog mess: It's a problem that gets on lots of people's nerves - the scourge of dog owners who don't clear up after their pets. So, what can be done to rid streets and parks of their mess? The signs are easy to spot - the flattened deposit bearing the imprint of a shoe, the anxious parent quickly steering their offspring to one side, the man repeatedly wiping his foot on the verge as if kick-starting a decrepit motorbike. Few things irritate people quite so much as the abandoned deposits produced by the UK's eight million dogs. It is often suggested that between them they produce 1,000 tonnes of the stuff each day.

In reality there shouldn't be a problem - you own a dog, it eats, it poos, you clean it up. Failing to do so is anti-social, smelly and can spread diseases, including toxicariasis. Dog mess is one of the most common causes of complaints to local councils and four out of 10 people consider it a problem in their local area, says the campaign group Keep Britain Tidy. Along with the Dogs Trust it has launched a campaign, The Big Scoop, to remind the minority of bad owners to clean up after their animals. After a decade of decline, the number of areas affected by dog mess is on the rise, it says. Almost one in five of the recreation areas it surveyed had a problem. But given the decades' old nature of the problem, what are the radical solutions that could be tried?

One of the problems with dog mess is that its earthy tones make it difficult to spot against the ground. Spraying it a bright colour and leaving it in situ for the owners to consider upon their return has been tried by a number of councils. In Dorset, the excrement was painted bright green, while Gloucestershire favoured orange and West Dunbartonshire bright pink. "This pink spray-paint will make this mess really obvious so the owners get the message that it is disgusting," said West Dunbartonshire councillor David McBride.

Elsewhere little flags of the type more usually seen on sandcastles have been left atop piles of poo. In Boston Lincolnshire, they bear "humorous and caustic" messages, including "man's best friend - let's keep it that way" and "flagged up… irresponsible dog owner woz 'ere".

Sometimes the offended party feels the need to go further. In Todmorden, West Yorkshire, British Waterways decorated a tree with dozens of bags of poo-filled plastic bags, to highlight the problem of owners picking the waste up - only to fling it into the foliage.

And in Brunete, a small town 20 miles from Madrid, volunteers were enlisted to look out for irresponsible owners. Many were identified from the town hall pet database and the excrement returned as "Lost Property" in a box bearing the town's insignia. A 70% drop in the amount of mess found on the streets was reported.

Drawing attention to the problem can make owners realise "how much it upsets other people", says Lance Workman, visiting professor of psychology at the University of South Wales. "When people take on a dog they think about the positives. People don't always see the responsibility that goes with it."  But there are some people who won't be reached by attempts to shame them. "Most of us feel guilty even if nobody knows what we've done, but some people have a high threshold for guilt," says Workman.

Elsewhere it has been apparent that members of the public can be enlisted if there's an incentive. Residents of New Taipei City in Taiwan were offered a lottery ticket for every bag of poo they handed in. Officials collected 14,500 bags from 4,000 people, with the scheme said to have halved the amount of excrement in the city. A woman in her 50s won the top prize - a gold ingot worth $2,200 (£1,400). Read more.

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